Tastes of Italy

Old Jul 8th, 2003, 03:20 PM
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Tastes of Italy

Good article in the July 2003 issue of Travel & Leisure entitled "Tastes of Italy."

"Few people in the world revere -- and debate -- classic cuisine like the Italians. Anya Von Bremzen heads to five regions and countless restaurants across the Boot in search of the best, most authentic examples of four beloved dishes: pizza, risotto, pasta, and pesto."


On a tangent, this reminds me of a phrase people use a lot which, although I understand why it's used, I find kind of amusing. People often will say, or write, something like "we love good food and good wine." Doesn't everyone think the food or wine *they* love is good? I mean, does anyone love bad food or bad wine? Have you ever heard anyone say "We love eating terrible food and horrible wine in Europe."?
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Old Jul 8th, 2003, 03:27 PM
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The difference being that here in the U.S. a lot of people are willing to eat substandard fast food for time's sake, while most Italians won't even broach the idea except in emergency situations. Besides I do know many a Scotsman who thinks that much of their food is based on a dare (see haggis).
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Old Jul 8th, 2003, 06:47 PM
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Actually, most fast food is engineered to taste very very good to most human beings. Big Macs do taste good to most people, and it's not by accident.
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Old Jul 9th, 2003, 04:39 AM
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When in Italy in May I pretty much enjoyed the food. As in the US, the quality varied somewhat depending on the establishment. I had some of the best, and most uniquely prepared onion soup in Rome that I've ever had anywhere.
However, I don't think the food I ate in Italy was any BETTER than some of the Italian food I've eaten in the US...I think some of us here are fortunate enough to live in areas where there really is so-called "world-class" dining. And I think our previous food experiences have an impact on what we think is good or great when we go abroad. Just a thought.
As to the "fast food" in Italy..well, I can tell you that I agree that europeans probably take very different view of meals than some of us do, thank goodness, or those wonderful, long meals we've been able to experience in Europe wouldn't have happened. But there were plenty of Italians on a "food emergency" when I was there since the Mickey D's and other fast-food joints (and pizza in some ways definitely qualifies in Italy as being a "fast food" because the take-out joints are everywhere)were always jammed.
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Old Jul 9th, 2003, 05:29 AM
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ira
 
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Hi capo,

> "we love good food and good wine." <

At least down here in my small town in Georgia, that means "fine dining", ie, table cloths.
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Old Jul 9th, 2003, 08:53 AM
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We were in Northern Italy in May and while visiting Pallanza we just stumbled on a Slow Food fair. There were lots of people tasting wonderful local sausages, sheese, honey and wine.
What was really nice was that there was no selling just tasting. Of course there were leaflets about the different products.
The Slowfood website as Http://www.slowfood.com/
 
Old Jul 9th, 2003, 09:38 AM
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Ira:

Would adding candles upgrade it to a veritable feast?

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Old Jul 9th, 2003, 02:21 PM
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Good point, Ira. That "good food" phrase may often be a euphenism for, as you say, "fine" dining.
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Old Jul 9th, 2003, 02:28 PM
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Hi Capo, I think that when someone says they appreciate good food, it means they appreciate food prepared well. I don't think it needs to be fine dining.

I know I appreciate good food and know some people who would eat anything that wasn't moving on their plate. I have been a tables where I could barely stomach the food and others were gobbling it down, not even noticing how it tasted.
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Old Jul 9th, 2003, 03:19 PM
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Hi Natalia. If "good food" doesn't need to be "fine" dining but, rather, means food prepared well, then couldn't a hamburger and french fries be considered good food as long as they weren't prepared poorly?

What puzzles me is your comment where you assume that these other people, gobbling down food that *you* happen to be barely able to stomach, could not possibly be noticing how it tastes. Why is that? Isn't it possible they just have different taste preferences, rather than having, as you imply, no taste? For example, I can't really stomach tripe -- even the most well-prepared tripe -- and yet I'm equally sure there are people who love it. I wouldn't presume that people next to me eating tripe couldn't possibly notice how it tasted, just because it tastes awful to me.

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Old Jul 9th, 2003, 03:28 PM
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Good point, but I know the food that we all were eating was prepared poorly. This happens almost every day in our company's commissary, we all get the same things to eat, and alot of the time after the first bite you know that the stuff is greasy, bland, raw or cold in places or any combination of the above. I just started making my own salad, but they keep eating the greasy stuff. They say, "oh it is not so bad, really" or "I am so hungry it doesn't matter", or "well, the potatoes were pretty good if you add alot of salt".

I agree with you about the example of the tripe, or in my case, escargot.

You must know of some people who will eat almost anything and stuff that you know is ill prepared, Capo.
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Old Jul 10th, 2003, 05:59 AM
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ira
 
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Hi Giovanna,

For candles, we have to go to Atlanta.

Yes, it would be a "veritable feast" and for most of my friends and neighbors a very, very special occasion.
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Old Jul 10th, 2003, 08:12 AM
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Ira:

I think, based on your many posts, my husband and I would enjoy being guests at that candlelit table. The dinner conversation would be great!
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Old Jul 11th, 2003, 08:43 AM
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Capo, back to the "we love good food" thoughts. When a waiter tells you the whatever is very good tonight, should you reply, wasn't it very good last night?
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